Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third film in the Harry Potter spin-off series, now has a confirmed release date of April 8, 2022.
The Secrets of Dumbledore will once again be directed by series mainstay David Yates, who had previously directed the prior two Fantastic Beasts movies as well as the final four films in the Harry Potter series. The screenplay will be handled by Harry Potter authors J. K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, who wrote the screenplay for every film in the Harry Potter film series except the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Kloves was a producer on the first two Fantastic Beasts films, but this will be his first writing credit for the series.
The Secrets of Dumbledore has been surrounded by controversy since it was first announced, with calls to remove both Johnny Depp and Rowling from the production. Depp has been dealing with the fallout from his lawsuits with former ex-wife Amber Heard. Both Depp and Heard have accused each other of abuse. The High Court of Justice ruled that 12 of the 14 abuse allegations against Depp were “substantially true” during a 2020 libel suit from Depp. Depp’s appeal was rejected earlier this year, but he currently has a separate libel case pending against Heard in the US.
For her part, Rowling has garnered controversy for having made numerous comments regarding the validity of transgender women. Rowling took offence to the phrase “people who menstruate” and took aim at the issue of public lavatory use, stating in a 2020 essay: “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside.”
Lead actor Eddie Redmayne came to Rowling’s defence despite having publicly disagreed with Rowling’s previous comments. Actor Ezra Miller, who plays one of the lead roles in the series, was also been subjected to controversy after Miller appeared to assault a woman outside a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland last year. Series regular Kevin Guthrie, who played the role of Abernathy in the first two films, will not return as he was sentenced to three years in prison for sexual assault earlier this year.
Despite being engulfed in a wave of notoriety, the film is continuing production and planning on a world release by spring of 2022, with Depp having left at the insistence of Warner Bros. Studios. Mads Mikkelsen will replace him in the role of Gellert Grindelwald.